Experimenting with a box of modelling clay (40 colours)

Foto: Magnus Sönning
Foto: Magnus Sönning


Ten thick rolls. Yellow, pink, dark green, light green, brown, white, red, lilac, blue, orange.


On the outside, the box is covered with laser-printed paper; I can´t soak it off. Well then, I begin to scratch. A good occupation: the box becomes neutral and time goes by. We begin to draw a little nearer. I try not to be distracted. I divide the rolls of clay into four. The original colour should not be lost, so a quarter of each goes back into the box. I mix the other colours by twos. At the end, I have 40 thin strips which I stack up carefully. The kneading makes the skin soft. 40 colours. Comments. 40 colours. Opinions. 40 colours. I could divide again and remix the colours. I could blend it all to a lump of grey. I could push the strips of modelling clay into corners. I could stick them to stones, tables, walls. I could model something.

At first, nothing happens. Now I make collages of wrapping paper. There are so many colours, I feel seduced and fall in love with them. There is a fear to change something and then it would be less good or less beautiful. While the others are away, I make good use of my time: I paint twelve strokes in my sketchbook, using one colour from my paintbox for each. While they are drying I shake the box with all the fourty strips inside. Nothing happens. They are now cold and dry and they are closely attached to one another. I shake some more and start sweating, I get out of my sweater. There is a thump. I shake more. My arms get tired. Short break. However it seems to be real good. And it feels good to shake. Then the box falls and two corners break. A little irritating, but never mind.

Just before the twelve painted brushstrokes in my sketchbook have dried, the others come back and the strips have changed their position.


Is it finished now?